Carmel Realtor Pleads Guilty to $16 Million Fraud Scheme
July 25, 2012
It's dangerous to invoke Jack Nicklaus' name unless he's really behind a golf course: Former Carmel realtor Thomas Joseph O'Meara pleaded guilty today to lying to investors and exaggerating the support of the pro golfer's firm, Nicklaus Design, for a planned Fresno-area golf course and gated community.
According to an announcement by U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag, O'Meara recruited some 50 investors to front cash for an 18-hole golf course and development called Running Horse Golf and Country Club.
O’Meara admitted in the plea agreement that in an effort to recruit investors and secure money for the planned golf course, he lied about Nicklaus Design’s and the PGA Tour’s confidence in the development.
The Running Horse development ultimately failed, investors lost their money, no PGA Tour golf event took place and the 450 acres remain mostly undeveloped undeveloped.
O’Meara now lives in Palm Desert, where he's been on home detention and electronic monitoring since his August 2010 arrest.
The wire fraud and money laundering charges carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, plus restitution. O’Meara has agreed to pay at least $7 million to 50 victims. He's scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 14 in San Jose